Impressions from Taraloka

I have just returned from a mindful and meditative retreat at Taraloka – a women’s Buddhist Retreat Centre in Shropshire. Here, in no particular order as they say, are the things that made an impression or stayed with me:

◊ Watching the two fat black and white cats (Splodge and Mr P) hunting in the fields.
◊ Debating with fellow retreatants on the first night about how and whether we would be able to resist switching on our mobile phones for five days. Then, only 24 hours later, the whole conversation feeling totally redundant because I was so deeply in the moment that it seemed irrelevant.
◊ Birdsong (and then some…).
◊ Being able to remember most people’s names – something that I struggle with day-to-day even with one or two new people, yet alone 25. Maybe the answer is about being fully present and nothing to do with an aging memory after all!
◊ Finding a new floor-based meditation position that works for me. Feeling that connection to the earth. ‘There is a whole planet beneath you, holding you up.’
◊ The wonderful Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses – bog, peat bog, and more bog – brilliant!
◊ Magnolia Stellatas in full-flower in the garden. Starry white blossoms in morning mist.
◊ Canal walks and bridges. Old metal mechanisms, their purpose lost in local memory. Cogs and ratches, sluice gates and drains.
◊ Statues of the Buddha; shrines; Green Tara; sacred spaces.
◊ Feeling overwhelmed with noise and people (we were a biggish group).
◊ Feeling overwhelmed with peace. Dwelling.
◊ Body scans are deeply relaxing!
◊ ‘What we pay attention to is what comes into being.’ Counting our blessings, gratitude and appreciation, rejoicing in merits.
◊ Metta (loving kindness).
◊ Chitta (heart and mind together, reminding me of the Quaker exhortation to come ‘hearts and minds prepared’.)
◊ Realising that I am actually progressing with this meditation thing…
◊ ‘Body like a mountain, heart like the ocean, mind like the wide blue sky.’ image: shrine to Green Tara           

© Anne de Gruchy

3 thoughts on “Impressions from Taraloka

  1. Hello Anne
    Wonderful details-thank you. Recently all the wonderful aspects of spring and new life are bursting around me. Last week I heard a particular bird call and looked up to see a nuthatch and then another one on a tree near a hole which they seemed to be working on. Back home I read that the nuthatches plaster mud on to a hole to make it smaller so they keep out intruders. Everywhere are wonderful spring flowers- bluebells and ransoms in the woods nearby, celandine near the path into the village.
    I love the sentence ‘Body like a mountain, heart like the ocean, mind like the wide blue sky.’
    I have always felt that “being” was important but I do like “doing” too. We walked on the coast yesterday, through April showers (6miles) and felt very tired afterwards. A new phenomenon!
    It makes me realise how we need to prioritise as energy levels are not what they were!!
    How are you and your Dad? Any news about your writing?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sally – I, too, am a bit of a do-er – hence the need for meditation! Dad is fine and settled – still enjoying lunches out, walking Isla and church. I signed a contract with MBA Literary and Script Agents a couple of weeks ago and my new agent is helping me to edit the book ready to promote it to publishers – very exciting!


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